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Similar Responsiveness of Diabetic Ketoacidosis to Low-Dose Insulin by Intramuscular Injection and Albumin-Free Infusion

HAROLD S. SACKS, M.B., Ch.B.; MOSTAFA SHAHSHAHANI, M.D.; ABBAS E. KITABCHI, Ph.D., M.D.; JOSEPH N. FISHER, M.D.; and RUTH T. YOUNG, M.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Abbas E. Kitabchi, M.D.; Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee, 951 Court Ave., Rm. 327B; Memphis, TN 38163.


Memphis, Tennessee


© 1979 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1979;90(1):36-42. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-90-1-36
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We compared low-dose insulin regimens in a prospective randomized trial in 30 patients with diabetic ketoacidosis. One group received a loading dose of 0.44 U/kg body weight of regular insulin half intramuscularly and half intravenously followed by 7 U/h intramuscularly, whereas the other group received a loading dose of 0.44 U/kg intravenously followed immediately by a constant infusion of 7 U/h in albumin-free saline. The time for metabolic control of the ketoacidosis was not significantly different in the two groups. Five patients in each group developed mild hypokalemia (serum potassium, 3.0 to 3.4 meq/litre). No patient became hypoglycemic, and there were no deaths within the follow-up period (24 h). In the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis, low doses of insulin administered by the priming dose-intermittent intramuscular route are as effective as the constant infusion method.

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